Xbox One Launch: Also 1m Sales on Day 1, Twitch broadcasting delayed to next year

Date Posted Author
23rd November 2013 Matt Bailey

Following on from the PlayStation 4's North American launch, the Xbox One was launched worldwide yesterday. Like Sony, Microsoft was able to confidently declare that they had sold 1 million machines in the first 24 hours, putting them both on a strong footing for this new generation of consoles.

However, the numbers are not quite comparable. Whereas last week Sony only released the PS4 in the American and Canadian parts of North America, Microsoft launched the Xbox One in thirteen countries on Friday, including those two nations as well as right here in the UK. This arguably makes Sony's figures even more impressive, but for Microsoft they were still able to claim this as the biggest launch in Xbox history. Even when the PS4 does its next roll-out on the 29th November it won't be a fair comparison, as it launches in a further 29 countries, with even more nations to get Sony's console before the end of the year. And with both consoles unlikely to be delivering enough consoles to meet demand right now, we may not get a true picture of their relative successes for a few months at least. Still, it's fair to say that right now the console business is doing pretty well, and considering the recent success of gaming on smartphones and tablets that's not something everyone was expecting.

A bit of bad news did precede the Xbox One launch, however, with the news emerging only in launch week that the broadcasting functionality which had been advertised back at E3 would not be arriving this year. Twitch, the highly popular gaming broadcasting website, announced integration with the Xbox One along with Microsoft at June's gaming event, following on from Sony's integration of UStream, a popular but not gaming-focussed streaming service, that had been revealed alongside the PS4 in June. Later in the year Sony linked up with Twitch as well, and when the PS4 launched last week it featured the ability to broadcast gameplay to both services as planned. The Xbox One, however, will have to wait until early year to gain this feature, although it does still have a Twitch app to watch streams and the "Game DVR" functionality that allows you to record clips and then share them to Xbox Live or a SkyDrive. If you didn't think that live game broadcasting was important, then you might have missed the social media successes that the functionality has been bringing Sony with many streams starting to gain high profiles, essentially providing free advertising for the PS4. Because of this you can expect Microsoft to be working to get this up and running as soon as possible so Xbox One owners can join in.

Thankfully for Microsoft the launch itself seemed to go rather smoothly. While Sony was suffering with a slow PlayStation Network service in the US and Canada on launch day, Xbox Live seemed to be coping fine with the 13 countries downloading the large launch day patch required to get the console to do anything other than turn on and get set up. That said, Microsoft's Azure cloud service - which is the backbone of not just Xbox Live but also other MS services like Outlook.com and Office 365, as well as plenty of other companies who pay for the priviledge - was suffering some serious issues just before the UK launch, although it was resolved in time for its arrival both here and across the Atlantic. Hopefully the service will remain up over Christmas when it has often suffered from an influx of new machines from under the tree.

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